Oct 10, 2023 - News

Atlanta fires officer involved in deacon's tasing death

APD vehicle

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The Atlanta Police Department has fired the officer who used a taser on Johnny Hollman Sr. days after an autopsy report found the device played a role in the Atlanta man's death.

Driving the news: Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said in a statement on Tuesday that officer Kiran Kimbrough did not "follow the department's standard operating procedures" during the August incident that led to Hollman's death.

Details: APD said Kimbrough violated policy because he did not have a supervisor on the scene when he tried to arrest Hollman, a deacon at a local church.

  • Schierbaum said he understands the "difficult and dangerous job" Atlanta officers perform each day and that he did not arrive at his decision lightly.
  • He also said his job as chief is to evaluate and adjust how the department "is carrying out its sworn mission to serve and protect the citizens of this city."

Catch up quick: Kimbrough responded to a call of a traffic collision on the night of Aug. 10 at Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard and Cunningham Place.

  • Atlanta police previously said Hollman became "agitated and uncooperative" while being ticketed for the accident and resisted when the officer tried to take him into custody.

The other side: The attorney representing Hollman's family previously told Axios that, according to body camera footage shown to the family, Kimbrough grabbed Hollman's arm as he reached to sign the ticket and wrestled him to the ground before tasing him.

  • Hollman became unresponsive and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
  • An autopsy released last month by the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office determined Hollman, 62, died from cardiac dysrhythmia, or an abnormal heart rhythm, spurred by the use of the taser.

State of play: Hollman's family has called upon the city to release the body camera footage to the public, as have the Atlanta City Council.

Yes, but: Atlanta police said the footage is part of a "pending homicide investigation," and the agencies conducting the investigation have told the city not to release the video until it's concluded.

  • "We all want justice, and in order for there to be a just outcome, there are policies and procedures in place to ensure a proper and thorough investigation as well as due process in the upcoming administrative hearing," it said.

What's next: Attorneys for Hollman's family will hold a press conference at 3:30pm Tuesday.


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